Why In The World Do They Call It Good Friday?

by Rev. Dr. Richard Leaver
Director of Mission and Pastoral Care

Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. (John 18:2, 3)

Good Friday was anything but good for the disciples. In fact, it was a gloomy day, a day of Easter. The crucifixion. Three wooden crosses in silhouette stand silently on a hill at sunset. The dramatic sky is beautiful in its blue and orange colors. Christianity, religious themes.sadness, frustration and failure for them and Jesus’ other close associate. They may have forgotten Jesus telling them that he will rise again on the third day, when they saw Jesus being forcefully taken away and abused by the enemies.

God’s Friday may have become Good Friday as “God be with you” became “goodbye”. Or the word Kar in German, or Care in the sense mourning in English may have changed to Good. Mourning Friday and reduced to Good Friday.

Good Friday is “good” because as terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter. The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the pure, perfect sacrificial substitute, for forgiveness and salvation to be poured out to the nations. Without that awful day of suffering, sorrow, and shed blood at the cross, God could not be both “just and the justifier” of those who trust in Jesus (Romans 3:26).

Death was destroyed. Death was overcome. There is no more death for the believer. Death swallowed Jesus, but Jesus was too strong for death to be victorious. He went into the dark recesses of death and plundered those dark places freeing all its captives, beginning with Adam and Eve to the end of time. This became a Great Day and a Holy Day! This day of death of Jesus, therefore, has become a day of Victory over death for the followers of Jesus the Christ. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. “O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15: 22 & 55).

The question we each need to answer is: “Is it a Good Friday for us;” that is, has Christ’s vicarious death on the cross and his resurrection empowered us for eternal life because you have asked Him into your heart and have given your life to him?

Let me leave you with this: “The Place in Your Heart I heard God say, when I was still, “There’s a place in your heart I alone can fill.” And with His voice, so tender and calm, He said, “Only you can fill the hole in My palm.” He holds us in His hands, it’s true. That’s why He died for us on Good Friday.” – Dee Dee Wike